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Large number of dolphins moved to Abu Dhabi marine park

Up to 24 captive bottlenose dolphins have reportedly been sent to a new SeaWorld theme...
Southern resident orca_CWR_Rob Lott

Success! Removal of last river dams to help threatened orcas in the US

Great news has emerged from the US concerning our work to protect the endangered orca...

More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...
captive dolphin

Las Vegas dolphin facility to close

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas is to permanently close....

Another fossil gives early clue to evolution of baleen whales

Examination of an ancient fossil has given scientists another insight into the evolution of baleen whales such as humpback or blue whales.

The fossil, named Coronodon havensteini, was found near the Wando River in South Carolina and lived around 30 million years ago. One of the great mysteries of whale evolution is how baleen whales evolve from originally having teeth and at what point did these whales lose their teeth? This whale has a wide snout and short jaw bones that are characteristics of a baleen whale. However, what is intriguing is that it had teeth which appear to have been used in a sieve-like way to catch small prey and filter out the water. But, at the same time, the whale would also have been able to take larger prey using the teeth in a more conventional way.

The latest discovery follows that of possibly the oldest relative of baleen whales found in Peru that lived 36 million years ago which also showed characteristics of having teeth but using suction to catch food.

Full report:
The Origin of Filter Feeding in Whales
Jonathan H. Geisler, Robert W. Boessenecker, Mace Brown, Brian L. Beatty
Current Biology


About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.